by Lu Haichao
I can’t be part of your past, but I surely will not miss your future.
In a word,
I wish we had met earlier.
- Nan Kang Bai Qi, Still Life Days ("Fu Sheng Liu Ji")
The first time I heard about Oracle was at an informal Oracle training program at university. Back then, my conception of Oracle was rather shallow. I thought that it was nothing more than just writing and executing a few SQL commands and didn’t realize how short-sighted I was.
After that, I didn’t touch Oracle until I entered the workplace. I had to engage in Oracle work because of my job, making me realize how interesting and fascinating it was. I also got to know more about Oracle by teaching myself. However, being in the position I was in, I also needed to learn things like Linux, AIX and VMWare ESX and to know something about hardware, like servers and storage. This reduced my time to learn Oracle, so I only had an incomplete understanding of it. Though I didn’t have much time to practice and delve deep, I still managed to get the Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) credential in 2015 based on what I had learned, bringing my study of Oracle into a new phase. I had a very confusing time after that. I wanted to study further, but I was afraid that I couldn’t keep up with the pace, because I had been teaching myself and didn’t have my own learning system. I was also taking my financial situation into account. Hesitating like that for about a year, I finally made up my mind to learn Oracle Certified Master (OCM) and to take the OCM exam.
I found an Oracle authorized Workforce Development Program (WDP) through the internet and using recommendations from my friends. At that point I just thought it was very cool and must have many talented people, but not much else. At the end of April, I was allowed to audit an Oracle class given by Teacher H. I remember that session was about performance tuning. To be honest, I had been a little worried that I couldn’t keep up with the teacher’s pace, because I didn’t have a good basic knowledge of Oracle. But Teacher H was good at making complicated things simple and getting the principles across. Every point was clearly delivered. I said this to many people: “I’ve attended quite a few Oracle classes, but Teacher H was the first one who could make things so clear.” I really wished that I had known about Teacher H earlier, because that way, I could have improved myself earlier. But it was not too late. Just as what is written in Still Life Days, "I can’t be part of your past, but I surely will not miss your future." I started working very hard, and I believed that I could learn so much from the marvelous Teacher H. I also became more confident in myself. As a result, without any hesitation, I registered for the training courses.
At the beginning of May, I started learning Oracle and preparing for the OCM exam.
The OCM exam requires a wide range of knowledge and covers different aspects of Oracle. When I started, it was very tough. Though I learned the theories fast, thanks to Teacher H’s instruction, practice was another thing. It was quite often that I still couldn’t figure out a scenario after a whole night working. It was really tiring. Luckily, I had encouragement from my friends and my teacher, who supported me through the whole process. From scenario 1 to scenario 9, each was an unforgettable memory. After managing to finish all of the scenarios for the first time, I really felt like I was flying. Things got much better the second time. There were still lots of errors, but I enjoyed the process of improving my skills and troubleshooting all kinds of problems. I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment, almost like I was invincible.
I got my OCM certificate and jacket on December 6. I thought I would be jumping for joy, but I wasn’t. Instead, I was thinking about the more than 200 days and nights since I had started learning OCM, from struggling with a weak foundation to making rapid progress and laying a solid foundation for further study. I didn’t how many experiments I had done and how many difficult problems I had dealt with. I just knew that it was the encouragement and inspiration from Teacher H and all my friends that kept me going through these days and nights and made me into a new version of myself in six months, more confident and more mature.
Looking back at this journey, the person I want to thank the most is my teacher. I also want to thank my comrades-in-arms for sharing with me the difficult problems in their practice and how to solve these problems. It is fair to say that I can’t imagine how I was able to go through all this without their company.
"I wish we had met earlier" is not just about my teachers, but also about my friends, with whom I worked toward the OCM exam, and about my dedication to learning Oracle.
Finally, I want to share with you one of my favorite sayings and hope it will inspire you as much as it does me: “As long as we are persistent and hardworking enough, together we will shine magnificently!”
*This article was provided and authorized by Oracle Certified Master Union. To reprint, please contact Oracle University and indicate the source.